By Xavier Lauth, Emergency Team Manager at SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL
Burkina Faso has gradually become the scene of a major security and humanitarian crisis. In July 2018, at the time of SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL’s first exploratory mission, there were 22,000 internally displaced people (IDPs) in the country. As of the beginning of 2020, almost 500,000 IDPs have already been registered.
This massive population movement can be explained by conflicts between radical armed groups and national and international security forces, which are rooted in a context of extreme poverty, intra-community tensions and competition for scarce natural resources caused by climate hazards and desertification. Access to water resources, pasture for herders and fertile land for farmers makes the issue of climate change central – and a source of social tension within the country.
The challenge for humanitarian actors is therefore to deliver rapid assistance in response to the consequences of these conflicts by providing people with food, water and shelter. But it is also essential to understand the environment in which humanitarian action takes place and to provide solutions that enable people to safeguard their natural resources, to meet their future needs and to better protect themselves against the harmful effects of climate shocks, which themselves generate human conflict.